I was inspired to write this post after interacting with a Facebook post by The Huffington Post’s Craig Kanalley. In it, Kanalley talks about a study that finds oversharing about your personal life on social media hurts romantic relationships.
While that was interesting, it wasn’t what caught my eye. It was what he asked before posting:
Those of you who know me in real life and from social media know that I’m a very ethical guy who believes in standards and treating everyone with respect. That’s just part of the reason I have a very specific way of sharing. Here’s what I wrote in response to Kanalley’s post:
“I think there’s two different things here. The study in the article mentions a lot of oversharing and sharing intimate details. I never share intimate details, not because my wife asked me not to but because I know better.
“As far as your question here, I don’t separate the two. People always look at me funny when I say this, so maybe I don’t explain it correctly, but I am always on. In other words, the professional rules I follow are with me 24 hours a day. Meaning, I would never tweet something at 11 p.m. on my couch that I wouldn’t tweet at 2 p.m. from my desk. I really think that makes me a better user of social media. People know me, not the work me and the home me. I’m just me.”
While I definitely have a snarky and flirtatious side, I’m extremely aware of what I’m posting on social media at all times. So the professionalism I show when I’m at my desk is the exact same professionalism I use when I’m at home or out at a restaurant. And because a big part of my job is reacting to breaking news, I need to be ready to switch modes at a moment’s notice.
But having a consistently professional style doesn’t mean that I can’t be myself.
For example, a pretty boring story just moved on our business wire. I immediately saw a way to turn it into something retweetable, which I did.
Comcast to buy remaining stake in NBC for $16.7B. (editor’s note: Why would anyone share that?)
Kabletown, errr, I mean Comcast to buy rest of GE’s stake in NBC for $16.7 billion. Good God, Lemon.
See what I mean? So far, 4 retweets and 2 comments. That’s part of being professional, doing your job and finding that style that keep people coming to you. And if there was virtual currency awarded whenever someone worked 30 Rock into a post, I might be pretty well to do.
As I stated above, my modes are purposely one mode. Except for the photos of brightly-colored cocktails, you might not even know if I’m tweeting from home or work. If you aren’t sure, then I’m doing my job correctly. Some people are very protective of that split between personal and professional social media and never let it mix. And I respect that, but I’ll always prefer to be @scottkleinberg as opposed to @scottkleinberg and @scottkleinbergTrib.
On Facebook for example, you can make everything public. Or you can make your photos friends and family only and save the less personal stuff for everyone.
When I tell people that my personal and professional lives are mixed, they automatically assume I’m some weird hybrid. I’m really not – I’m just trying to stress the professionalism factor. And you’ll never catch me responding that I can’t help you with something because it’s after 5 p.m. or it’s the weekend.
I’m @scottkleinberg 24-7 and I like it that way. I’m not saying it’s the only way, I’m just saying it’s the way I prefer.
I would love to know your style for using social media – how do you separate personal and professional life? Do you?
I look forward to hearing from you.